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8/29/12: Poloncarz Commends Passage of Law Protecting Social Service Workers


New Law Extends Penalties Provided for Assaults Against Public Employees

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz lauded the passage of a new law designed to extend and enhance protections for government workers who deliver social services.

A.4672-S.7720, scheduled to go into effect on November 1, 2012, was signed by Governor Cuomo on August 17, 2012 and is a response to safety concerns voiced by social service employees around New York State.

“Social service workers perform some of the most important, yet often underappreciated, work of any government employee. That work can take them into unpredictable and sometimes dangerous situations as they aid and assist the families and children in their caseloads,” said Poloncarz. “These men and women are on the front lines helping individuals in our communities and are deserving of these new protections, which will help them be more secure in doing their vital work.”

New York State law already provides penalties for assaults against some public employees such as police officers and school employees. The new law intends to serve as a deterrent to those who would use physical force, threats, or intimidation to prevent social service workers from doing their jobs by raising an offense from assault in the third degree (a Class A misdemeanor) to assault in the second degree (a Class D felony). 

The text of the NYS Assembly version of the law, A.4672, can be accessed at: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A04672&term=2011&Summary=Y&Text=Y